In Pennsylvania and across the United States, medical professionals have been under intense pressure for much of the past two years. The health situation has been inordinately difficult and it only adds to the stressful nature of caring for people who are suffering from illness, injuries and conditions. Since medical care has many layers and any lapse can cause injuries, long-term damage and death, it is important to look at each link in the chain and address potential problems. Recently, something new has been reported: burnout for pharmacy technicians. Patients and their families should be aware of it.
Pharmacy technicians are walking away, potentially putting people at risk
Recently, a growing number of pharmacy technicians have expressed their frustration as to how overwhelming stress has been impacting them. With that, many are simply walking away from the job. Among the concerns were their pay, the hours and recently, the seeming never-ending stream of people coming in needing prescriptions. Often, the backlog left people without their medications as the pharmacies fell behind.
Their duties range from helping pharmacists, performing clerical work, keeping track of pills and even giving shots. The fear of mistakes and the knowledge that any error could harm a person is adding to their worry and serving as a catalyst for them leaving the job. One technician directly mentioned the fear of a medication error leading to her quitting. Technicians making a mistake with a prescription is avoidable just as it is when pharmacists, nurses and doctors do it. If, for example, a person is given too much of a medication for a heart problem, it can be dangerous. This type of lapse should be considered if a person or a loved one suffers an unexpected medical setback or worse.
If a medication error is suspected, it is important to have help
Medical malpractice comes in many forms and people should recognize when an error has been made. It is not limited to misdiagnosis, surgical errors and negligence. The pharmacy can make mistakes too. When people are given a prescription to treat their medical issue, there is an innate expectation that it will be the right medication in the proper dose. If there is a gaffe at any juncture whether it is when the doctor writes the prescription through the pharmacy filling it, it can result in illness, worsened medical condition, long-term issues and death. If there is suspicion that a medication error took place, it is imperative to have help to investigate it, decide on an appropriate strategy and move forward.